CFC OFC Game of the Week Preview: “We need to avoid giving up the big play on defense”

Heading into Week 5 of the Ontario Football Conference (OFC) season, the Varsity Twin Cities Predators are celebrating their first win after defeating the Forest City Thunderbirds 26-18.

It was a solid win in spite of the absence of many starters mainly due to injuries. Although very happy with a win, Head Coach Kevin Horn stated there are still areas they need to focus on to keep producing wins,

“We need to avoid giving up the big play on defense; we play great defense for long stretches and then give up one long play that results in a touchdown for the other team,” said Horn.  “It’s something that great teams don’t do and we need to fix that.”

There were some standout plays that guided the team to success, including an impressive performance from tailback Mitch Kernick who had two touchdowns and played a great physical game. Defensive back Jake Skrinda also came away with two interceptions helping to slow down the Thunderbirds offence while receiver Corey Jones aided the team on offence and special teams with some high impact plays thus helping fuel the team to a win in the process.

After a rocky first half of the season with some disappointing losses and a tough tie against the Burlington Stampeders, the Predators are looking to continue the success heading into this week’s game on the road against the 0-3 Chatham-Kent Cougars. The Cougars are winless this season but will be refreshed coming off a bye week and will prove to be another tough game for the Predators.

However, Horn is confident the team is headed in the right direction for the rest of the season.

“We are treating every game like a playoff game from here on in,” commented Horn.  “We are going to give every team we face our best effort and we are going to put together a strong second half to the year”

The Predators and Cougars face off this Satuday at 7:00pm at the Chatham-Kent Sports Complex.

Meanwhile the junior varsity Predators are also headed to Chatham to face the Cougars in hopes of finding success after falling to 0-3 last week against the Forest City Thunderbirds.

Last week’s game was a tough fought battle that could have been a win aside from two touchdowns being called back off of penalties. There has been a noticeable improvement in the junior Preds especially in defense,

“Our defense has improved significantly and played very well,” commented Head Coach Jim Macarthur.  “We made some personnel changes and they definitely showed up on Saturday”

The defense was a force this week by mostly shutting down the Thunderbirds offense that scored 14 points in the first quarter and only three more by the end of the game ending in a close 17-11 result.

The Predators are looking for similar outstanding performances from Matt Wilkinson, Keyeli Wong- Castiglione and Daniel Stirling this week. Quarterback Justin Henderson came in the second half and played a tremendous game, throwing a touchdown pass that was unfortunately called back as well as making great physical blocks after throws.

Bryce Scarrow and Tavian Shand also played great games and will be essential for a win against the Cougars. Having a bye in Week 3 had it’s benefits,

“It’s a little frustrating, we would always prefer a BYE in the later half of the season but we had fun with it and the team has increased tremendously” commented Macarthur.

Heading into this week, the focus will be on avoiding costly penalties in order to achieve a solid win,

“We played a pretty good game, we were the better team, we just took too many penalties” said Macarthur who hopes more consistency will bring his team its first win this week against Chatham-Kent.

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